Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 11 Weeks

Hello, September! I can't believe I'm not reporting to work today. I will be taking a year off from teaching to take care of little Henry, but reality still hasn't hit me. Seeing kids going to school on Thursday will definitely made it feel more "real". This past week was filled with fun, travel, and HEAT! It made me thankful that we have had a relatively cool summer. 

Weekly Workouts: 11 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: FANTASTIC 3 mile run! It is the best I have felt running with the BOB, and even averaged in the high 10's! 
PRISTINE morning on the West Side Highway! Henry slept through the whole thing.
  • Monday: I made it all four circuits of my at home workout
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. I wasn't feeling this swim, especially knowing that my boys were walking around the park enjoying the sunset, but I kept going and made it just as the whistle was blown to stop. It was, after all, my last swim of the season there.
And just like that, the sun sets on my (abbreviated) summer swimming.

  • Wednesday: 1 mile run (It was HOT) and two rounds of my strength routine.
  • Thursday: 3.75 mile run! BOB PDR! I FINALLY ran to the park and back. This is my old running route, and it felt like I was finally "running again", instead of driving my car to the park, running a mile or two, then driving home. It was definitely a slower pace since I was dealing with going slow/walking over uneven sidewalks, but it was totally worth it!
He's in there, I promise!
  • Friday: Rest day: I got a full body workout packing the car though! We drove to CT for the weekend!
  • Saturday: Unplanned rest day. You know when you feel tired and everything in you wants to work out, but you're just TIRED?! That was me. And you know what? My body was screaming for rest and relaxation, and that's what I gave it. I'm not going to sacrifice my body's need for rest to try to exercise on fumes. 
Sleepy weekend by the pool. We all enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation! Related: rolls on rolls on rolls on rolls!

Summary: I'm seeing progress and staying positive. Before my vow to avoid negative self talk, I would have been beating myself up over skipping my workouts Saturday and, spoiler alert, Sunday and Monday. However, spending time with family, floating in a pool, and visiting with friends made this weekend a healthy dose of much need decompression. Next up: full on working out! 12 weeks means weights and abs. I'm nervous and excited, stay tuned for the progress! We are going on vacation this Friday, so I'm hoping to maintain a healthy balance of working out and continued relaxation.

How was your week? Do you plow through exhaustion to get a workout in? When was the last time you jumped off a diving board? (I did it Monday! So weird but so fun!) Do you think the benefits of exercising outweigh the benefits of resting? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Weight of Attitude

I must start this blog post with a disclaimer. I have an 11 week old son. I had an (emergency) c-section, which was difficult (for this active third floor walk up dweller) to recover from. Henry is still not "sleeping through the night", so mommy is tired and not sleeping through the night.  I am a goal oriented person; once I set a plan in motion, I assume things are going to exactly according to plan (Not the best mindset, more often than not). Okay, with that said, let's talk about attitude.

I can't resist this little lion man!

I have had a bad attitude recently. Last week I basically had a breakdown. Was it the hormones? Maybe. Was it my unrealistic expectations? Possibly. But it happened. I did my usual once a week weigh in, after having lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, with high expectations. I had eaten well, exercised, and felt good. What was translated to me by a numbers board was not what I was expecting: 1 pound gained. Now I know what you all are thinking: It's just a scale, it doesn't determine your happiness. Please, think back to a time when you were expecting a good time only to see it was significantly slower pace than your expectation, or even your own weight struggle. We've all been there: feeling disappointed in the lack of progress. I was there Friday. I was mad at the scale, mad at my body, mad that I'm still carrying around 18 extra pounds. Can I say that? Well, I will. 
Before we go on, know this: I wouldn't trade my son for the world. I know this extra weight is temporary. I KNOW lots of things. But I had one of "those" days where things started off rocky and went downhill from there; nothing major, just little annoyances magnified by the initial annoyance of the day.

Something Good In Every Day!

This is my reality: I'm no where close to my pre-baby weight nearly three months later. I know it's not an overnight occurrence, but I assumed I would be further along than this by now. I assumed that everyone was right when they told me "The weight will fall off when you're breastfeeding!" I assumed that three weeks of clean(er) eating and healthy amounts of exercise would yield more than a net of 1 pound lost. I assumed it wouldn't be this hard. And you know what? It's been eating away at me, and that attitude is like an added weight. 

I thought of Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go Via

My attitude has weighed me down. My husband, God bless him, has been beyond supportive and positive. I, on the other hand, have been focused on how nothing fits, my visible "rolls", and lack of results. It's so easy to be caught in this rut. I tiptoed the line of this rut, but fell in it on Friday. There were tears. There were "never" statements. My attitude was like an anchor and I was stuck. I went for an "angry run". You know the kind, where you just need to burn off steam...only it's hard to burn off steam when you're pushing 50lbs of stroller/baby/puppy. I felt slow, like this process I'm in. I had tons of fun plans for the weekend, but I wasn't excited about them. I was sabotaging myself because things weren't working out the way I thought they should be. Thankfully, I woke up Saturday a bit calmer, a bit happier, and a bit more sane. I spent time with some pretty great people. On Sunday I went for a "cleansing run", one where the day was beautiful, things felt good, and the end feeling was satisfaction with my effort.

Mr. Miller played tennis with Nike while I ran 3 miles with Henry

NYC Family. Enough said.

So, how will I be different? I was watching The Today Show and saw a series about giving things up for 30 days; whether it be technology, sweets, whatever is "weighing you down". I saw a mom featured who gave up negative talk (Read her story here). So, starting today, I will be following in her footsteps. I will give up negative talk about myself as a mom, my appearance, and (trivial) circumstances. I'm going to lighten the weight of my attitude. 

start filtering. your thoughts are the beginning of everything.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! I wrote this post over the weekend, and took time to think about if I really wanted to publish it. I had really encouraging conversations with other moms who gave me a healthy dose of tough love, personal experiences and encouragement. I'm published it because there may be others having a tough day, week, month, or year in their weight loss journey (Whether postpartum or otherwise), and I wanted you to know that other people have those trying times too. I have not said anything negative in the past few days, and I already feel more accomplished, lighter, and relaxed. I'm shedding the weight of my attitude, and honestly, it feels good.

How about you? Have you ever gotten into an attitude rut? How do you escape falling into a negative pattern? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 10 weeks

How is it the end of August?! Time has been flying by! This was a decent fitness week, getting VERY close  to full throttle fitness, aka 12 weeks! This week was definitely busy, filled with tons of social plans that slightly hampered my workout plans. Here's how it went: 

Weekly Workouts: 10 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: 4 circuits of my postpartum workout! I made it the full 4! Then took a two mile walk...to a brewery. At least we burned calories before and after?! 
  • Monday: Two mile run around the neighborhood. Brought Lamby and baby (24 extra pounds!) It went a lot better, I'm getting the hang of this BOB Stroller + Running thing.
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. This was an AMAZING swim and I felt fantastic. I found that the later I get to the pool the less people are there, allowing me to swim without stopping...but dusk is coming earlier and that's when the pool closes!
  • Wednesday: This was a semi rest day. I had a "sore day"; if you've had a c-section you know what I mean. I was randomly sore in my incision, like little stabs once in a while. I abstained from any serious workouts and visited some pretty great people in Manhattan for lunch (This entailed  about 2 miles of walking)
Can we please talk about the gun show? Seriously Henry, you make fitness look easy. Getting some love from Aunty S and Uncle N and Ashley!
  • Thursday: Another rest day. Didn't want to overdo it. Also walked two miles to my running partner's initial going away party. WAHHHHHHH. 
This is typical us. Note: I'm totally pregnant drinking club soda and lime at a lounge. #momoftheyear
  • Friday: 2 mile run at the park with the babe and the pup. It was not a happy run. Dare I say I "ran angry"? Lots of things going on in my head. More on that later.
  • Saturday: Saturday morning family walk. We probably went a mile. We had ANOTHER going away party to go to in New Jersey, so this was technically an "off day". 

I kind of like cloudy days

Summary: Things could have gone better. Or could they have? Even though some parties won over workouts, I wouldn't trade the good times I had with good friends. In retrospect, workouts will always be available, but spending time with friends (Especially those leaving NYC sob heave sob) is priceless.

How was your week? Do you opt to relax socially instead of getting in a workout? Do you make sure to get in a workout no matter what? Any awesome end of summer plans? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Coordinating Workouts as New Parents

It's been three weeks since I was cleared to work out. At first, my workouts were SHORT (15 minutes short). It was important to me to build up my workouts SAFELY. I didn't want to get injured right out of the gate (minus accidentally stubbing my toe...), so creating time wasn't as difficult. However, we knew that we needed to coordinate so neither one of us was left without a workout. It was a hard thing to wrap my mind around: I couldn't just lace up and walk out the door to run, I had to coordinate with my husband to ensure Henry was fed and he was ready to care for him while I exercised. It has made my workouts intentional. No longer am I taking my time to leave, finding things to distract me from getting out the door. When it's time to leave, I'm gone, and make the most out of my time! Here are some ways we have found time to fit in our workouts:

1. Assigned "baby free" workout days. We have separated days in the week as "Mr. & Mrs." days to ensure each of us gets two days to exercise responsibility (stroller) free. Will this always work? Probably not, especially with weather etc, but while Henry is young (And I'm building up jogging stroller stamina), we have our days that we can count on to be fitness focused.

Can't bring the baby to the pool! These are my baby free workouts. When the pool closes I'll most likely increase my (Stroller free) runs!

2. At home workouts. Neither one of us has a gym membership, so at home strength routines have become a staple in our house. Mr. Miller does T25 or NTC, while I am doing my own thing until 12 weeks when I will unleash the beast of lifting weights and annihilating my abs (cue laughter). I do my strength routine during the day while Henry naps on Mr. Miller's scheduled after work workout days.

Old picture 26 weeks pregnant. I'm a bit different, but Lamby is still in my grill during any and all home workouts, ready to play fetch or lick my face!

3. Workout together. We're trying to get the hang of the jogging stroller (Doctor approved it as long as we are mindful of Henry, which we always are). We actually used to workout together often, and it's something I definitely missed towards the end of my pregnancy when my options were walking, walking and walking. Oh, and squats! We had a great time at Summer Streets and look forward to more family runs in the future.

The good old days of Nike events. We always had so much fun! Circa September 2013

The first of many family runs!

4. Support each other. On days when the other doesn't feel like working out, we often encourage each other to make it happen. Being healthy and active is important to both of us. Although some days it's hard to get out there, especially after rough nights of sleep, knowing that I'm supported by Mr. Miller makes all the difference. 

My number one fan. Love this guy. Missing marathons. 

How about you? Do you have a schedule that you follow religiously? Do you check in with your significant other to coordinate? Do you workout despite a bad night's sleep? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 9 Weeks

Oh what a difference a week makes. I'm finally getting past the "sore after every workout" phase. I'm slowly finding my rhythm with my workouts, building some strength, and enjoying the challenge of trying to a little bit harder. I'm still adhering to my key principles: Respecting my body, Building Strength, and Resting.

Weekly Workouts: 9 Weeks Postpartum

  • Sunday: 2 mile run in Connecticut. I felt GREAT during this run despite it being CRAZY hot at 9am. Coming home to this jammy clad guy was the best!
The watch was merely for distance/time management, though I did average a slightly better pace than my first mile a week earlier!
  • Monday: Strength Routine and a pool workout from Fitness Magazine. I was able to do the exercises and used a small tube float instead of a beach ball (Work what your momma gave you...it's all my mom's pool had!)
  • Tuesday: Drove Henry and I back from CT, Mr. Miller had a baseball game that night, so we relaxed.
  • Wednesday: Nothing. I was going to go for a run since I missed my chance Tuesday, but decided spending time with my guys (especially Mr. Miller, who I hadn't really seen in three days) was more important.
  • Thursday: .65 for my first BOB stroller run! I was going to just run, then ran into a friend, then made new mom friends...it was a fun morning. Also: Stroller running is HARRRRRRRD. Building up slowly and safely. I also got a 700m swim in at night, closed down the pool. I love night swimming now! 

  • Friday: 1 mile run with the BOB! I DID IT! It was hard. Henry was comfy cozy the whole time. I also did a new postpartum workout! FYI Dips were hard before the baby, and dips are hard after the baby! Challenge accepted.
He hates his feet under blankets...like his mommy!

I only did 3 circuits, I learned my lesson by overdoing it on my first postpartum workout! With the squats, I challenged myself by squatting in three levels (High medium low within one squat) before standing up again. OUCHIES. Pin it here
  • Saturday: We went to Summer Streets! The Millers took Manhattan. We walk/ran 4 miles round trip (More like ran 1-1.5 miles and walked the rest!) It was so fun, we ran into many friends and enjoyed NYC at its finest.
Henry is all "That's just how I stroll..."

TWO HENRYS! The bffs finally met. These guys are three days apart and their mommies text all through the night because they're identical sleepers. 

Summary: It was a great week! I think I balanced spending time with my guys and taking care of me. It's feeling more and more natural to workout while Henry is napping. Note on my postpartum workouts: I am NOT a personal trainer. I have endless tools at my fingertips (Amazing Fitzala workouts, T25, Insanity, NTC App) but I'm following the no lifting rule until 12 weeks and slowly doing things to wake up my abs. These workouts are to ease me into strength training to pick things up in two weeks (EEK!)

How was your week? Did you check out summer streets? Can you believe it's the middle of August?! Any great grilling/summer recipes happening? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The New Mom Highlight Reel

We've all heard about the highlight reel. Basically, Instagram is the best of the best of your good times, potentially projecting zero amounts of discontent or hard times. This article goes into it in a bit more detail. Mr. Miller and I were discussing this in reference to having a new baby, and how it must seem all bliss filled and easy based on social media posts. I really felt like the below pictures was a "highlight reel" post:

The problem with this picture is that I don't think I really look like the right side picture. Not yet at least. Somehow it was the perfect angle and outfit to hide my extra love that Henry left behind. I even tried to  hoist Henry up to not hide my stomach. The comments came in and I felt like a faker. I'm not trying to hide my extra weight, it's a reality that I'm tackling daily. So, here are some highlight reel photos attached with a healthy dose of reality:

Highlight reel: I am running! YIPPEE!
Reality: This is 3 weeks after the previous photo where my belly appeared to be nonexistent. Not an ounce has budged in six weeks. In related news, I stubbed my toe SO badly that night (Runner's high excitement???) that I haven't run since. Ouchies!

Highlight Reel: Henry's first trip to the beach! He slept the whole time!
Reality Reel: I had a really rough week with barely any sleep and  Mr. Miller brought me to my happy place to help me relax.

Highlight Reel: Henry was a champ on his first plane rides, sleeping the whole time!
Reality Reel: Mommy was stressed out days before, and was stressed the whole flight too.

Highlight Reel: Cute baby alert! Bath time is fun!
Reality Reel: a) Henry JUST started liking baths, he used to cry the whole time and b) he had a messed up sleep schedule and was up a TON that night. 

Highlight Reel: Hello adorable two month photo!
Reality Reel: I had taken the the BEST *smiling* two month photos in his cute swim outfit, only to send it to Mr. Miller who said "Where's the sticker?" I couldn't believe I had forgotten it. Also: there is spit up under that sticker.

Highlight Reel: Henry's hilarious steps to putting himself to sleep.
Reality Reel: He had spit up on me several times. I sponge bathed my chest because I was too tired to shower. 

Highlight Reel: First BOB stroller run! Made it 0.65 miles!
Reality Reel: Wow slim waistband shorts make my stomach look AMAZING. NOT. Also, we went to the park because we had such a bad night I needed nature to soothe me.

Reality Reel: I love my son and I love being mom. Instagram makes it look like all butterflies and unicorns with baby snuggles 24/7. I'll take the hard times because when those butterflies, unicorns, and baby snuggles happen, I forget about the tough times. Despite IG being all feel good moments, I think it's way better than Facebook. I find too many posts about controversial topics, complaints and excessive photo sharing to not be as enjoyable as cute babies, puppies, nature and funny happenings that I look forward to on IG (Often at an ungodly AM hour!)

How about you? Do you ever post a bad picture on Instagram? Are you following the trend of being anti Facebook? Who are your favorite Instagrammers? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 8 Weeks

I decided I will try writing a new series. I'm going to try to log my weekly workouts. I have NEVER, repeat NEVER been good at this (Mostly because during marathon training I'm balancing the beginning of the school year), but I want to keep a record of this. It will serve as a pseudo accountability if you will. I wrote about my postpartum fitness plan here. Since I had a c-section, things are definitely moving a bit slower, and I'm okay with that. Here are the keys to my workouts as a c-section mommy:

1. Respect my body. I have never been a runner who ran through pain. If I felt a twinge that scared me a bit, I would rest. I only freaked out if I missed more than a week of runs or two consecutive long runs. In this process, being in tune with my body is ESSENTIAL. Feeling any sort of pain (which is different than being sore from a fabulous workout) will be respected. Case and point: I was SO stoked about my mile run on Sunday, and that night I stubbed my toe so badly that it's still swollen. So guess what? No more running this week. 

2. Build STRENGTH. Working with Jenni from Fitzala is great. She is so knowledgeable! I will be focusing my efforts on building strength, not just cardio per my usual M.O. Since I'm still on a no ab work regimen, I made up my own little workout. (NOTE: I am NOT a personal trainer in any way shape or form. I've been to a million classes, done research, and know this can work for me! Try it out if you want!)

Adjustments: I did modified push ups and didn't do the plank just yet to ease the use of my abs. A "row" is where you lift one arm up after you do a push up.

3. REST. I will not be doing the same workout two days in a row for a while. I am slowly getting my muscles back into shape, waking them up if you will, but I won't overuse them in the process.

So, here's a look at my week while incorporating those keys!

Weekly Workouts: 8 Weeks Postpartum

  • Sunday: 1 mile run with a 1 mile walk.
  • Monday: REST. Toe injured. BOO HOO! Walked the dog.
  • Tuesday: Swam 600m
I love that my pool as official etiquette posted!!!
  • Wednesday: Strength Workout + 2 mile walk pushing the stroller (Still felt toe)
  • Thursday: Canceled swim. I was going to go swimming, but I was celebrating my friend's new journey with a glass of bubbly, then decided that I would rather sit with my boys than swim for 20 minutes. Listening to a Johnny Cash cover band and eating a picnic dinner with these guys was good for the soul.
I stroll the line...
  • Friday: Walked the dog. My toe was still sore and I was STILL sore from Wednesday's strength workout! Lesson learned: I should have done one circuit instead of two!
  • Saturday: 700m Swim. The day got away from me, between packing to come to CT, traveling, and spending time with family, I didn't get my swim in until 9:15pm. SO glad I did. It felt GREAT!

Summary: Three strong workouts! I am putting zero pressure on myself and I'm determined not to over do it. I am proud to have gotten three quality workouts in with a two month old!

How was your week? Any great new workouts? Did you have a stellar long run? How do you avoid over doing it? TELL ME ABOUT IT!